Fail to Plan? Then Plan to Fail: Why Market Research is a Critical Part of your Business, and How to get Started

When you're selling a product or service, you've got to understand your target customer like you understand your best friend. You've got to know what makes them tick, their habits and their interests. The last thing you want is to go through all the work of creating a great product only to have it sit on the shelf.

Researching your target audience is a great way to gain valuable insights. You'll discover more about who needs your product and why they are or are not purchasing it from you. Below we've put together 5 of the best tips for understanding market research methods.


What Is Market Research?

Market research is the process by which you collect information about your customers. Typically, this information covers their browsing habits, purchasing tendencies, interests, and demographics. Having these insights will then help you target your external messages to the right audience.

Why Should You Do It?

Think of it this way: let's say you find out the ways that your target customers like and don't like to hear from you. This means you can focus on the ways they like and eliminate the risk of contacting them in a way that's off-putting.

Furthermore, market research will help you pinpoint which products your customers love most. This will save you time and energy as you and your team think through what to offer next.

How to do Market Research

Knowing how to conduct market research will be your next challenge. There are multiple ways of conducting this kind of research, so choose the method that works best for you.

An easy way to learn more about your customers is by conducting a survey. Ask them about their age, location, and ethnicity to learn more about your customer demographics. Inquire about their favorite products and what they'd like to see more of. Surveys are a helpful way to reach a large sample of people directly.

You could also try the one-on-one approach. You could call your customers and ask them about their experience with your company. Or you could try inviting them to take part in an interview. Having customers come in to take part in a focus group is a great way to get direct feedback, too.

Knowing Which Market Research Methods Are For You

Knowing which methods are right for your business comes down to a matter of resources. How much money can you put toward the research? How many employees will be working on it?

If you don't have the capacity to organize a focus group, see if you can schedule some phone calls. Or include an online survey in your next marketing email. Planning around what you can do right now will ultimately set you up for success later.

Applying What You Learn

Once you've collected your data, it's time to put it to use! Use what you've learned to write marketing copy personalized to your audience. Incorporate your customers' feedback into your next product brainstorm. Soon, your company will start to feel tailor-made for your customers.

Keep Researching

Marketing trends are constantly shifting and evolving. Research should be an ongoing project for your team. Understanding market research methods can help you take your business to the next level. For more on marketing best-practices, check out our mobile marketing guide.